The majority rule in individual decision making

Jiao Zhang (First Author), Zhixing Xiao (Participant Author), Christopher K. Hsee (Participant Author)

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal

15 Citations (Web of Science)


This research investigates an understudied decision heuristic, the majority rule. By using the rule, decision makers choose the option superior on most of the available cues. Cues are broadly defined, including advisors and attributes. We propose that decision makers are more likely to use the majority rule when encouraged to employ intra-cue comparison as opposed to intra-option integration, and that their choices are influenced by factors that influence which option appears majority superior. We corroborate the two propositions in four studies. In Studies 1 and 2, we explore two factors that moderate use of the majority rule through facilitating intra-cue comparison or intra-option integration—response mode and information display format. In Studies 3 and 4, we explore two factors that influence choice through influencing which option appears majority-superior—cue-unpacking and cue-regrouping.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)102-111
JournalOrganizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2006

Corresponding author email


  • Advice integration
  • Choice heuristic
  • Information display
  • Multi-attribute decision making
  • Preference reversal
  • The majority rule

Indexed by

  • FT
  • ABDC-A*
  • Scopus
  • SSCI


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